Is DNA testing for Diet worth the cost?

There is no doubt that more information about who you are and how your body functions is a great help when choosing the right combination of diet and exercise.

Will knowing what type of genes you have help?

My wife decided to test out one of the products that you can buy in the chemist, a basic mouth swab kit, registration details and an envelope to an Australian lab. A few weeks later the results can be read online.

At first, the information was very disappointing as the web page shows six types of diet to follow, one of them being ‘Mediterranean’ which is very vague while others were with or without different types of fat, higher protein etc.

Also the percentage of macronutrients: protein, fat and carbohydrates. There were no big surprises here just standard recommendations, along with meal examples.

Then we looked at the more detailed Healthcare Professional PDF that gives details about the seven genes that are considered to be the best indicators of your body type.

Genes and a basic description:

FTO,  Weight, appetite, & obesity

MTIF3, Body size and weight regain

PPARG, Fat storage (conversion of excess energy to fat)

ADIPOQ, Fat burning

APOA5, Triglyceride levels

LIPC, Cholesterol regulation & triglyceride, the breakdown of fats

FADS1, Processing of fatty acids (omega 3 etc)

Now, this part is interesting although somewhat general. The studies used are based on Caucasians and use wording such as ‘increased chance’, ‘moderate’, ‘reduced’ and ‘normal’ giving percentages that group your DNA per population tested.

Therefore we need to remember this is not a 100% game changer.

Knowing for example that you have an ‘increased chance’ rating on your FTO gene, which means you have 40-60% more possibility of becoming obese and less control over how full food makes you feel might be helpful to know but won’t change your DNA.

So maybe knowing this will help make more effort to limit sugary and fatty food intake, which is positive but you probably subconsciously know if you are the one that no sooner have you looked at a slice of cake your weight goes up.

Most of the exercise advice is based on ‘regular moderate’ so nothing personalised there and higher protein (animal) to help those with a higher chance of weight gain. So again nothing that is not an Akins style diet for the ‘overweight’.

Is it worth the £75 price tag? As a nutrition advisor, it could be seen as a threat to business but at that cost and with such general findings it is more of a gimmick and not something that will keep you motivated.

At the moment knowing about your FTO percentage as an average score doesn’t really change anything, by asking you the question what type of body types are your parents and grandparents we get the same answer, tall and skinny, low percentage, fat and short high percentage.

My one-to-one personalised advice

looks at your constitution, home and work, likes and dislikes, and will guide you to learn what foods will benefit you.

There are foods that can strengthen or weaken your health depending on your age, activity levels, body fat percentage, blood pressure.

If you have your DNA results it will sure be interesting but won’t change the amount of vegetable I will recommend.

Cheltenham, Churchdown, Gloucester, Tewksbury, Stroud

Body fat testing, Nutrition for your constitution, blood pressure and exercise training plans £35 with training log included. Please get in touch to book your appointment., tel. 07939 019 030


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Written by

caspar chamberlain

Personal Trainer and Nutrition Advisor